The eight teams from the Best of the West event, a four-game high-school football event Sept. 20 hosted by Bellevue, held a press conference today. A lot of it had to do with the teams’ outlooks this season, and I thought I’d pass along a few notes:
-Bothell, back-to-back runner-ups in 4A, doesn’t expect a rebuilding year. With the Cougars returning all-league center Jackson Pierce, all-league fullback Trey Burwick and all-league corner Kurt Stottlemyer, at least one coach there said the Cougs could be the top team in the state this season. They’ll have an awfully tough schedule on the way there. Bothell plays Issaquah week one, Bellevue week two and then Redmond in the Best of the West. Then on to the league schedule in the new KingCo 4A Crown division.
-Bellevue might have a passing game this season. With talented receivers such as Taylor Anderson and and Brayden Van Ackeran, Butch Goncharoff is talking about actually throwing the ball (the Wolverines threw all of 38 times in 13 games last season). But they’ll still have quick runners in Peter Nguyen and Jamal Atofau, who’s also a D-1 recruit at safety/linebacker.
-Redmond has high hopes this season. The Mustangs are hanging on to the bitter taste of just missing the playoffs a year ago, and with several returning starters, should be a player in the KingCo 4A Crest — perhaps the toughest division in the whole state.
(Forget the perhaps. It is the toughest. That division sent four teams to the 4A and 3A state tournaments last year and has a nationally-ranked team in Skyline. Some coaches are talking about Issaquah as a 4A title contender. Whoever that division sends to the KingCo championship will have taken some hits.)
The Mustangs have David Gilbertson (son of Keith) at quarterback and an offensive line averaging 270 pounds to protect him. If they can stay healthy, the Mustangs could surprise some people.
-Here’s the schedule for the Best of the West, as a reminder:
Kamiak vs. Shorewood, 10:30 a.m.
Woodinville vs. Eastlake, 1:30 p.m.
Bothell vs. Redmond, 4:30 p.m.
Bellevue vs. California, 7:30 p.m.